Tucked away in Nolita’s Elizabeth Street Gallery is a secret room of splendor. It’s adorned with wallpapers of rich autumnal wallflowers, snake candelabras, and lamps with flamingo legs as well as those with foot-long fringe. There’s a cheetah print ottoman, and a rug from Axminster, Britain’s oldest carpet manufacturer. It’s like the pied-à-terre of an eccentric, crystal-ball wielding heiress with an affinity for the moody and unusual, a moth to the flame of floral prints. It’s like entering a whole new world—that of [House of Hackney].
American interior aficionados have long had to admire the maximalist English design house from afar, required to peruse their website, make a pilgrimage to the Shoreditch flagship, or gaze upon photographs of their projects to get a taste. (They did the guest room for Kate Moss, and the terrace at the legendary private club, Annabel’s. ) Last October, the designers tossed their stateside superfans a velvet bone with a pop-up at Bergdorf Goodman. And this fall, House of Hackney is putting down permanent roots with their new New York City store.
They refer to the new space as a “Gallery,” a name that’s well warranted for a couple reasons. For one, it literally sits in the back of the aforementioned antique store, the Elizabeth Street Gallery. Two, “you can explore our collections while also admiring work by incredible, up-and-coming guest artists—the first we’re showcasing is British painter Raphael Balme,” founder Frieda Gormley tells Vogue.
Gormley says she’s been obsessed with the space for years. The clandestine location felt like it was filled with “magic is waiting to be discovered,” she says. “It’s also right next to the Elizabeth Street Garden, which was so important to us as a brand that worships nature.” The gallery has a private door which leads out to the serene, sculpture-filled lot.
The Gallery showcases House of Hackney’s classic pieces as well as their newest collections. (The latest addition is Artemis, a floral pattern inspired by Arts & Craft master William Morris and Diana Vreeland’s garden.) All the designs are presented in a way that’s interactive, like you’ve just been ushered into the well-adorned parlor of an English country estate: you can lie on the Rosetta-patterned chaise lounge, play with the palmeral cushions. You don’t just imagine what your apartment would look like with one piece of House of Hackney; you imagine what your apartment would look like in all House of Hackney—if you paired that pineapple-shaped lamp with dinosaur-covered wallpaper, or you were bold enough to go for that cheetah-print, fringed armchair. If, well, you just decided to have a hell of a lot of fun.